Journal Article
. 2021 Jul; 7:20552076211020240.
doi: 10.1177/20552076211020240.

Diagnostic digital pathology implementation: Learning from the digital health experience

Samar Betmouni 1 
  • PMID: 34211723
  •     55 References


Digital Pathology (also referred to as Telepathology and Whole Slide Imaging) is the process of producing high resolution digital images from tissue sections on glass slides. These glass slides are normally examined under a microscope by a pathologist as part of the diagnostic process. The emergence of digital pathology now means that digital images are stored on secure servers and can be viewed on computer monitors; enabling pathologists to work remotely and to collaborate with other colleagues when second opinions are needed. The implementation of digital pathology into clinical practice has many potential benefits. Although this has been long recognised, its adoption as a diagnostic tool remains low and pathologists' projections about its future deployment are cautious. Notable early digital pathology adopters have led the way. The challenge now is to scale-up digital pathology beyond the relatively few large networks and centres of excellence. Many other areas of healthcare have accumulated experience about optimising approaches to digital health/healthcare technology deployment and sustainability. This has been done in a multi-disciplinary context and has applied theoretical/conceptual frameworks. Thus far there has been little use of similar frameworks in the planning of digital pathology deployment in clinical practice. In this essay, I will explore the scope of digital pathology implementation approaches that have been deployed in clinical practice and examine what can be learned from the wider healthcare experience of adopting, scaling-up and sustaining innovative healthcare solutions.

Keywords: Digital pathology; diagnostics; implementation; pathology; telepathology; theoretical frameworks; whole slide imaging.

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